Police have used a drone in Torquay to take aerial pictures of a damaged roof following an incident on Wednesday.
Three men are believed to have been cold calling elderly and vulnerable residents and telling them that repairs were needed on their roofs.
One man was arrested at the scene by police. The resident was in the process of handing over a large sum of cash.
A 41-year-old man from Liverpool has been arrested and released on police bail until June 15 2016 pending further enquires.
The drone was used to take aerial photographs of the roof and the damaged believed to have been caused.
— Alliance Pol Drones (@PoliceDrones) April 15, 2016
Detective Constable Thomas Blanchard from Torquay CID said: “We would like to take this opportunity to remind residents of Torbay to be vigilant to this kind of activity, if employing a tradesperson to carry out work or repairs we would recommend only using those registered in that particular trade.
“Those carrying out work should be in possession of identification and this should be checked before allowing them into your homes. Tradespersons looking for work by making cold calls should not be employed and money should not be passed before completion of the work.”
Legitimate callers will not mind if you shut and lock the door while you verify that they are genuine. Rogue traders often offer gardening work or maintenance services at attractive rates but the quality of work is substandard, unnecessary or overpriced. They often use persuasive sales techniques to encourage people into making hasty decisions.
For further information on how to protect yourself and others against doorstep crime please visit; www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/prevention-and-advice/your-home/doorstep-crime
If anybody has witnessed this or similar incidents in and around Torbay please contact Devon and Cornwall Police on 101, or email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting crime reference: CR/23750/16.
Information can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers via 0800 555111 or the charity’s website at www.crimestoppers-org.uk